Study Indicates Improvements in Mental Capacities of Elderly
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect - July 25, 2013
Mental Capacity Retention in Elderly
Mental Capacity Study
A recent study that compared a group of elders born 15 years apart revealed that elders might be retaining their mental capacity, despite old age.
Danish researchers conducted a 4,000-person study to analyze the mental capacity of the aging population. Both tested in their mid-nineties, the group born in 1915 scored higher on cognitive function tests than those born in 1905; this provides hope that more elderly are able to live longer and do so with their mental faculties intact.1
The study assessed two groups, one comprised of individuals born in 1905 and the other in 1915. Researchers found the later-born group was nearly twice as likely to attain the highest score on a basic cognitive function test as those born earlier.1
Attentive Nursing Home Care is Important
Nursing home staff must pay as much attention to a resident’s mental health as their physical health. The results from this study indicate that special attention must be given to the eldest residents, aged 90 and above, who are at risk for mental decline but have the capacity to resist it. Daily exercise and social interaction play a role in stabilizing a resident’s mental capacities.
Recent studies have indicated that brain exercises are better preventative measures to cognitive decline than medication.2 Thus, nursing home staff should be making every effort to offer brain-stimulating activities so that the mental health of your loved one does not decline.
1. “Today’s 90 Year Olds are Mentally Sharper Than Their Predecessors”, July 2013
2. “Brain Exercises Better than Drugs in Preventing Cognitive Decline“, April 2013